The Fine Art of Balance

When you click the “play” button in the brief video clip, you’ll see two mourning doves on top of the security gate where we live. The ride is fairly smooth, but even in the slightly bumpy parts, the birds stay on.

I feel fortunate to have captured their seemingly effortless balance on camera, and I’m fascinated that they remained unruffled by my presence.

And while most of us don’t ride gate tops, we do balance multiple things simultaneously: career, family, home, relationships…

Do you remain cool, calm, and collected during the bumpy parts of the ride?

© Laurie Buchanan

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72 thoughts on “The Fine Art of Balance

  1. That is so much fun! You see? As writers/bloggers, we are trained to notice things like doves balancing on a gate. And even more, we are then trained to write about it, and to find a metaphor. Yes, I feel like I remain calm cool and collected during a bumpy life-issue ride. At my age, I’ve had plenty of practice! Yoga and meditation helps, and love, lots and lots of love helps weather the bumps.

  2. I love roughwighting’s comment above about writers notice things and using them as metaphors. And you are very good at it, Laurie. (Also, the little glimpse of your property is lovely.)
    I’m generally a calm person, and there are family members who call me to calm them down or diffuse things, but I guess it depends on the situation and what is causing the bumpy ride. 😉

  3. Great video! So quiet and smooth. I like the fact that the birds are doves, the symbols of peace.

    I have had many reactions to the bumps in my life. Sometimes I’ve been calm through paralysis. Other times I had tremendous energy and overcame problems with hard work. I’ve also been anxious and even depressed a few times. Usually, I can stay calm when I know I am helping someone else and that he or she needs my calm. Off to yoga! 🙂

  4. What’s interesting is that the backward movement (opening the gate) didn’t cause them to move, since animals don’t go backwards, always forward and they make it appear as though they do this all the time. Thank you for sharing this, I’m still giggling.

    Bumpy rides are part of life, aren’t they? It reminds me of the lyrics to a popular song, ‘Things Happen…that’s all they ever do’. When I was much younger, I learned to transcend the bumps by developing problem solving skills, taking responsibility, keeping things in perspective and using these opportunities to teach my children how to be flexible.

    • Hi Laura

      Actually, lots of animals go backwards, and some don’t. Tuna fish don’t go backwards, and barracuda and eels have very efficient reverse gears. Most dogs don’t like going backwards, and they will if given no other option. Ferrets and their ilk are amazing at going backwards. I once watched two ferrets raiding a hen-house by one grabbing an egg and rolling on its back, while the other one gripped it by the tail and they both went backwards out to a culvert under the road, where they consumed the egg.

      • Thank you for your insight, I stand corrected. I live with geese, turkeys and chickens, although I’ve seen the turkeys turn in a circle before, not the others. 🙂

  5. I’ve taken a walk, now I’m sitting in my writing chair. I’ll have a nutritious lunch, but then a bite of chocolate. More writing, then Pilates. As always, today I seek balance. Life is good!

    What a striking video. Others have commented about the view of your property, the birds as doves of peace, and your metaphorical use of nature in finding wisdom. What I want to know is how that gate opened. I suspect an accomplice in Len – or maybe it’s automatic. I imagine you’ll tell me here, Laurie.

  6. Balance has always been my goal. Like everything else in life, sometimes I’ve got it, sometimes I don’t. I’m usually calm, cool, and collected with the bumps until afterwards when I sometimes fall apart.

  7. Laurie, I love your nasturtiums. have you tried eating any of the flowers? If you know they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals, they make a great addition to salads, mildly peppery like watercress. I tend to keep my head when the ride gets bumpy. If I’m gonna get thrown I want to have a good landing place already in sight. It’s not until later that I get the “shakes”, while I’m riding the adrenaline rush I can stay sharply focused, afterwards I have the luxury of falling apart.

    • Sandi — We haven’t tried eating the nasturtiums (yet). Although maybe we’ll give it a go in this evening’s salad.

      I love the way you phrased, “I have the luxury of falling apart” after a rather bumpy ride. I also like that even in the midst of the whole thing, you’ve got an eye out for a good landing spot! 🙂

  8. As you know, I love mourning doves – what a sweet video! They seem to be quietly welcoming you home. When I get overwhelmed and overstimulated I have great difficulty remaining cool, calm, and collected. I tend to retreat and shut down…

  9. I’ve found that the older I’ve gotten the more balanced I’ve become.
    I think I’ve finally learned that I don’t have to do everything well- if at all.
    I can enjoy my day even if my house isn’t perfectly clean! What a gift!

  10. Wish I did and most of the time I do okay, but… This spring and early summer was a really crazy difficult time here at the lake with flooding, some major changes and lots of gossip. I tried to stay out of the mess but didn’t do a very good job. I was so glad when things finally started to settle down, but I’m still working on getting myself back in balance. I really wish balance were a once and a for all type of thing where once we get there we stay. Unfortunately it’s more like walking a balance beam where we have to make small, gradual changes and shifts to stay on the beam. Hard as I try, I do still tend to fall off from time to time. 🙂

  11. Oh my god I flip . I am a drama queen . I go to pieces . I do everything wrong in a crisis . I do yoga , meditation the lot . Hey Laurie did you check out Dru yoga ? . I think it was you I talking to about it . If not eg ore me . Love the birds .
    Cherryx

    • Cherry — Your “drama queen” comment made me laugh. I have, indeed, been checking out Dru Yoga. And while it’s hot, Hot, HOT in the UK, it appears us folks on the other side of “the pond” have a bit of catching up to do 🙂

  12. Nice video. Sometimes I remain very cool and collected (surprisingly so!) Other times, totally fall apart. Sometimes only partly fall apart. It is a balancing act. So many different parts of ourselves that want different things at different times. It seems like kindness goes a long way as a balm, both inward and outward.

  13. What a beautiful video. And the birds most definitely act as the receptionists welcoming you home. You could easily add music free from the youtube choices of music and have a hit for us to share. I just love it. For balance I have to take B-. It’s the only vitamin that handles the overwhelm. I know that with vitamin e is a good balance. When I don’t know what I am hungry for I take Vitamin C and can tell within minutes what I would like to eat. That is kinda weird but works for me. I’ve found niacin to be good for energy when I do work out but only take that once in a while or if I feel I’ve been at the computer screen too long. My biggest balancing act is just taking a walk daily and enjoying objects in the environment.

  14. Enjoyed your video. Sorry to be a day late commenting yesterday was jam packed. I noticed that the fence the birds were on was thick and heavy (especially relative to the birds size) and the speed was somewhat slow and steady. It is a good metaphor for my response to balance. If I’m in place where I feel relatively safe and the change comes at a rate that I can slowly adjust to (watched one of the birds adjust her wings) I can more easily center. I’m thinking about a place we both worked at where my team knew for a year when we would be downsized . A year to adjust, teammates who made a.shared decision to both give our best and support each other (safety) and time (slow gate movement) made a difficult and unsettling period although hard a place of balance. Compared to driving when some unthinking driver turns into ones lane all to fast and unexpectedly causing me to hit the brakes, heart pace escalates, and expletives fly from my mouth. Sometimes I can catch the expletives but staying calm and balanced much harder for me.

  15. How I wish I could! Although to be fair, only last week I managed not to scream when driving along very narrow, windy and dangerous road on the Gorges du Verdon, the highest gorges in Europe. Blogue to follow in due course… 😉

  16. Great video! And to tell the truth, I’m not always successful to remain calm during the bumpy parts of the ride. Two steps forward, one step back…working on it 🙂

  17. Fabulous lead in Laurie! Love the morning doves on the swinging gate and the slow moving zoom. Well, I’d say sometimes I am and sometimes I am not. Preety much like the weather. But without question your therapy is certainly the correct one. 🙂

    Another classic post.

  18. What a wonderful post, and blog you write on a regular basis Laurie! I can see why people are drawn to this insightful space. Balance is always a great topic. Remaining calm, cool and collected in all situations is a great way of life to aspire to. 🙂

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